11th December 10:02 AM
40% of the country’s population directly affected by TC Winston - UNICEF
By Vijay Narayan and Semi Turaga
Wednesday 02/03/2016
The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with some of the children and members of Nailuva village during his visit to the Province of Ra (Photo: Fiji Government)

40 percent of the country’s population have been directly affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

This is according to latest statistics released by the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund or UNICEF.

The UN agency said an estimated 347,000 people, including 120,000 children, are directly impacted by the second‑strongest storm to ever make landfall.

UNICEF Pacific Representative Doctor Karen Allen said this is a truly nationwide disaster for Fiji.

She says they have met far too many children who have lost literally everything; their possessions, their home, the family’s crops that they depend on for food and possibly income, their school and their community health clinic.

Many of these children don’t have safe drinking water, power or a roof over their heads.

UNICEF said they need urgent and comprehensive assistance.

The Ministry of Education has reported that at least 265 schools have also been damaged or destroyed.

Many schools are also being used as temporary evacuation centres.

Doctor Allen said in the last week alone UNICEF has supplied 60 temporary classrooms to most‑affected schools – and many more are on the way.

Each UNICEF temporary classroom kit includes a large tent and educational supplies sufficient for 40 students and teachers.

They allow children and teachers to quickly return to school and a sense of normality in even the toughest of times.

UNICEF said more than 26,000 people in the most affected areas have been provided with water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation, 2,115 students at 23 schools have received education supplies, including temporary classrooms and learning materials and 30,000 doses of Typhoid‑Tetanus vaccines have been provided to the Ministry of Health.

The emergency response is scaling up as further supplies reach Fiji from UNICEF’s logistics hubs around the world.

Briefs

The death toll still stands at 43.

The National Disaster Management Office said they have distributed rations to about 80 percent of the affected areas around the country.

Director Akapusi Tuifagalele said they will cover the other areas by the end of this week.

EVACUATION CENTRES

54,707 people continue to live in 960 evacuation centres across the country after Monster Cyclone Winston hit Fiji last month.

95 of these evacuation centres are schools.

EDUCATION

The estimated cost of damage to the Education sector is now $45.9 million.

265 schools were affected by Cyclone Winston.

63 school buildings were destroyed.

188 schools remain closed.

HEALTH

The damage to health and medical facilities is estimated to be $4.6 million.

This number is expected to increase.

AGRICULTURE

The estimated cost of damage to the agricultural sector is $120 million.

NDMO Director Akapusi Tuifagalele says the estimated crop damage is $72 million while the livestock damage is estimated to be $48 million.

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